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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Snark Business is Getting Crowded

In the newly released documents that detail Tim Russert's battle to refuse to testify about his conversations with Scooter Libby in the CIA leak case, Russert claimed that the waiver signed by Libby allowing him to do so was coerced and that if he testified his "sources" would no longer trust him as a journalist.

It's great that bloggers are on the scene to smack down the disingenuous hypocricy of Russert's all-too-willing defense of his good friend Scooter:
It is also relevant to note that Russert has treated an asserted waiver of the reporter's privilege quite differently when convenient. When Richard Clarke published his book Against All Enemies and testified before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the September 11 Commission), Clarke became subject to intense media scrutiny. On March 24, 2004, the White House disclosed Clarke's identity as the "senior administration official" who gave a "background" briefing in August 2002. When Clarke appeared as a guest on Meet the Press on March 28, 2004, Russert noted the White House had been aggressive in attacking Clarke's credibility and had identified Clarke as the source for the background briefing -- without indicating any concern about the "voluntariness" of the waiver, in which Clarke apparently played no role. (Copy of the March 28, 2004, Meet the Press transcript, Exhibit 1). Russert did not hesitate to broadcast out of any concern that such disclosure might chill future background sources.
Did I say blogger? Sorry, I meant Patrick Fitzgerald (Page 33, footnote #13, Government's Response to Motion to Quash Grand Jury Subpoena).

So Tim -- I think you're full of shit, Tom Maguire thinks you're full of shit, and the Special Counsel thinks you're full of shit. That's left, right and center. Your appearances on Don Imus notwithstanding, who exactly is it that's supposed to be trusting your journalistic integrity these days?

(thanks to Jeff for the tip)